The universal life force
Date: 12/6/2006 8:41:45 AM ( 15 y ) ... viewed 2797 times
This morning I've been thinking about ch'i or qi as it's also known, the universal life force. I talk about it a lot with the clients at my alternative health office, explaining my various theories about how the body heals itself. Some of them seem to have studied vibrational healing for lifetimes longer than me, but for the most part they are humble about their advanced knowledge and listen to me going on and on, with a polite smile.
Anyway, I was thinking...what do I really know about ch'i? It's a buzzword of sorts, and many years ago when I lived among meditative devotees of a spiritual teacher from India, it was called "The Energy." Same thing, though, absolutely. What I know from my own experience is that there's something immeasurable, yet vast, that makes us tick and it needs to be allowed to flow through us unhampered. When something blocks the flow of ch'i, there can be problems. Here's part of the article on ch'i in Wikipedia that I thought was good:
"The nature of qi is a matter of controversy among those who accept it as a valid concept, while those who dismiss its very existence ignore it, except for purposes of discussion with its adherents. Disputing the nature of qi is an old controversy in Chinese philosophy. Among some traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, qi is sometimes thought of as a metaphor for biological processes similar to the Western concept of energy flow for homeostatic balance in biological regulations. Others argue that qi involves some new physics or biology. Attempts to directly connect qi with some scientific phenonomena have been attempted since the mid-nineteenth century. The philosopher Kang Youwei believed that qi was synonymous with the later abandoned concept of luminiferous ether.
The concept of tunneling in modern-day quantum physics where physical matters can “tunnel” through energy barriers using quantum mechanics captured some of the similar concepts of qi (which allows one to transcend normal physical forces in nature). The seemingly impossibility of tunneling through energy barriers (walls) is only limited by the conceptual framework of classical mechanics, but can easily be resolved by the wave-particle duality in modern physics. By the same token, this duality is similar to the metaphorical duality of yin and yang, which is governed by qi (the flow of energy).
Examples of quantum tunneling can be found as a mechanism in biology used by enzymes to speed up reactions in lifeforms to millions of times their normal speed. Other examples of quantum tunneling are found in semiconductor and superconductors, such as field emission used in flash memory and major source of current leakage in Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) electronics draining power in mobile phones and computers.
Some scientists and practitioners are beginning to appreciate the practical applicability of qi and related concepts in Traditional Chinese Medicine. (The NIH Consensus Statement on acupuncture in 1997 noted that such concepts "are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture.")
Views of qi as an esoteric force tend to be more prominent in the West, where it has sometimes been associated with New Age spiritualism. These views are less prominent in modern communist China, where traditional Chinese medicine is often practiced and considered effective, but in which esoteric notions of qi are considered to contradict Marxist notions of dialectic materialism; China's current government in fact formally embraces anti-spiritual atheism. Many traditional martial arts schools also eschew a supernatural approach to the issue, identifying "external qi" or "internal qi" as representative of the varying leverage principles used to improve the efficacy of a well-trained, healthier than normal body with a given work load.
Some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches not only assume its existence but believe that the purported subtle energy running through and surrounding the body can be manipulated so as to cultivate increased physical, psychological and spiritual health. Acupuncture along with other practices of TCM, ayurveda and many other traditional disciplines worldwide provide examples of similar beliefs. Properly funded, conducted and repeated empirical research is necessary to determine if the success rate of these CAM approaches is due to:
1) the existence of subtle energy
2) various other factors.
Some people believe that qi in scientific terms is really "bio-electricity", the electric current which exists in nature and run through our nerves, sending signals to and from the brain."
In the few days I've been thinking in a more focused manner about ch'i or qi, it's just been amazing. It's a great center point for meditation, as it's vast and infinite and multifaceted and there's so much about it that is not understandable.
Hmmm...if that makes sense to you, please write and explain it to me, ok?
Much love to all of you during this holiday season,
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